‘Mudik’: History and its Origins

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UNAIR NEWS – The government has issued an Addendum to Circular (SE) Number 13 of 2021 concerning Banned Idul Fitri 1442 Hijriah ‘Mudik'(exodus) and Efforts to Control the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) during the Holy Month of Ramadan 1442 Hijriah. The period of banning the mudik will take effect from 6 May 2021 to 17 May 2021. It is the second consecutive year for mudik ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mudik is an inherent part of Eid al-Fitr for the Indonesian people. From a historical point of view, mudik has existed since the Indonesian people began to urbanize because cities are the orientation for rural people to look for jobs.

Professor of Faculty of Humanities Universitas Airlangga (FIB UNAIR), Prof. Dr. Purnawan Basundoro, SS, M. Hum., said that urbanization makes people miss their homeland. “This (urbanization, ed), maybe after independence, after a lot of people looking for jobs in the city. Maybe in the 60s and 70s when the city of Jakarta began to be visited by people from various villages, “he added.

According to Prof. Purnawan, the village is like a source of water because concerning urbanization, the village is the origin (source, ed) of urban people. “Because we (village people, ed) are considered the source of urban people from the village in the context of urbanization,” he said.

Regarding the origin of the language, mudik comes from the word udik, which means end. “So the village people are considered udik, so we return to the end. So that when we return to our hometown it is said to be going home or ‘heading to the end,” said the lecturer of the History Study Program.

Meanwhile, regarding the traditions that usually occur in mudik, Prof. Purnawan said that the main thing is to strengthen ties and reunion, followed by eating together. There is also a tradition of pilgrimage to the grave and gardening for those who have gardens.

Although some activities can be carried out online during a pandemic, this does not apply to mudik. “Regarding the congratulations (Hari Raya Idul Fitri, ed) yes, you can do it by telephone, but that does not mean going home. Mudik still has to be done directly because there is no online mudik, so with this pandemic, we are told to postpone mudik, not replace it, “explained Prof. Purnawan.

Regarding the postponement of mudik, Prof. Purnawan said that it was independent of the context of Eid al-Fitr. “We can do it after Eid. I am not going home, which means going back to where we came from,” he said.

Prof. Purnawan also added that mudik on holidays is still considered something special. Because most Indonesians are Muslim, this moment is also used as a tradition of apologizing to family, relatives, and so on.

Meanwhile, mudik is found not only in Indonesia. “This kind of phenomenon occurs in many countries as well. So when certain holidays are considered suitable for meeting their families, they flock to go home, “explained the Dean of FIB UNAIR.

As the best university in Indonesia, UNAIR supports its human resources to develop themselves to contribute to society. (*)

Author: Fauzia Gadis Widyanti

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

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